When listing an item's new retail, should the price be the current retail, or the price of the item at the time it was purchased? If you know someone bought an item for $2,500, it is 3 years old, and the say the current price is $3,300 and are asking $2,200 - is this appropriate and honest or somewhat not?
In my opinion,at the time it was purchased. Others will disagree and that's perfectly fine.
I would put the retail price when originally purchased and then put current price in the description. I am the type not to buy something if I think the seller is spinning any information and I check out everything before I send a stranger money. And I doubt I am the only one like this.
The only retail price that is relevant is the current price. It matters what it would cost to buy a new one. It does not matter what the seller paid for it.
I don't trade much, so I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I would say *current* retail. When evaluating the price of a potential purchase, it seems like the most salient comparison is what I would presently have to pay new, not what I could have paid in the past (and no longer can). If the retail price increased gradually over a period of years, the asking price should reflect age; if there is a sudden large increase (Manley?) the seller got lucky, and that's life.

IMHO, of course.

I agree with both of you, and certainly legitimate to say that the current price is xyz in the description - always seems dishonest otherwise. Big issue with Manley gear at the moment after their recent price increases.
Is the OP really asking is it fair that the seller is only going to loose $300.00 from the sale of his item from what he bought it for new?

Lets put this in perspective. If you bought your house in 1965 for $22,000 and want to sell it now, would you put it on the market for $20,000 or would you put it on the market for current value?

For me, I don't really care what the seller puts in his ad for the original price. It's only worth what the seller gets for it.
Yeah, both the price at the time of purchase and current one should be mentioned.
Some people do confuse the issue in their ads and also sometimes inflate the retail prices but not necessarily intentionally.
If you're selling, for example, a 1967 tri- power Corvette for $100K tell me how the original purchase price is an issue. As a prospective buyer, I could care less.

At the end of the day, isn't what you pay all that matters?
The price it last sold at, retail is fair.
As long as the price is not for an upgraded model, it does not maatter.
Since nearly everyone actually pays below list anyway, buying new.. it is just a ballpark sort of figure.
(I laugh to see folks asking more than most actually pay in ads for mnearly new gear. Like New XYZ still in box, only $995 list $1050.. yeah, what about the fact they actually only paid $800 for it?)
Guess we need a "Price Police", not going to happen. The current new price, original price, or what someone actually paid to a dealer are all considered retail. Should I buy a used piece of equipment, and know the price is fair, compared to market value, bluebook, sales history, etc, what difference does it make as to the listed retail by the seller? I am more concerned with condition and history of that particular unit. It makes no sense to even list the new retail for a used piece of gear. If you buy a used car, or anything else, does the seller list, or quote a new retail price?
The retail listed should be when the seller purchased the item. Some sellers are very sensitive if you ask the date of manufacture of a component.
Another vote for current retail as that is what it cost to
buy a new one now. And at the bottom of the deal, people
very seldom pay the asking price. So what does original MSRP
matter, value is determined at the point of sale.As long as
they aren't providing an inflated false list price, in my
opinion no harm with current list. If you are looking for
Boraxo Model F250XE Amp, you know a little about it and
probably what it sold for. Now records are a different story.
The add should state a 4.99 album new at Woolworths is now
20.00 for NM.
Price for the item when new. Cannot list the current new price as often times the unit has gone through changes along with the price increases.
Straight forward answer it seems to me.
It’s hard to keep perspective on “Retail” when the likes of Nordost holds a yard sale like they’re doing today.
Quite a divide. I notice this issue lately since the past 3-4 years have seen a significant increases in MSRP - there is something about profiting in that windfall that rubs me the wrong way, I guess there is no definitive right or wrong on the issue, that is simply my personal take on it. I don't have an issue with a collectible like a Mac or Marantz rising in price, like a 67 Corvette, I have more of an issue with something like Manley gear that increased 50% in one year. But yes, you are free to buy or not buy, I get that.
Retail price at time of its purchase. But if you wish, in the description feel free to state for what they currently retail. Otherwise you are just being deceiptful. You should not lie or deceive.
Some sellers are very sensitive if you ask the date of manufacture of a component.
That would make me wonder what else they wanted to hide.
That's it, it might be caveat emptor and all that, but there is something deceitful to the practice of listing current retail, rather than the retail at time the units was made. And absolutely nothing wrong with saying that now it costs more if you want to buy it new. I wonder what AGON's guidance is on the issue, or if they address it.
>>but there is something deceitful to the practice of listing current retail<<

Totally disagree.

The only salient price is what's agreed on by the 2 parties.

Everything else is window dressing.
I feel more comfortable buying from someone that list retail at time of original purchase, this gives an idea of the age of the piece. Like Pupul57 said they can mention current retail in the description, bottom line the serial # is still most important but with the inability to email members the back and forth process can be arduous and very slow!!!!
Bill, what you say is of course true in economic terms - value is determined by the parties, but I do not trust someone not providing full disclosure of material facts, and this pricing question I raise is material to me. Disclosethe facts and let me decide whether it is worth the premium of an increase in current MSRP - that's fair.

I would feel dishonest buying something for $2000 when the list is $3,500 and 3 years later trying to sell it for $2,900 when the price rose to $4,800 without disclosing that fact - I just would not do it. I suppose it is a matter of what feels like the right thing to do and I suppose we all follow different rules.

I would not buy a 3 year-old piece of Manley gear that did not reflect the new/used price at the time the seller bought it - but I would buy a 40-50 year old Mac/Marantz selling for mulitples of the retail at the time it was made, and you will find no seller feels the need to hide that fact - there is value in high quality vintage having nothing to do with MSRP.
I'm with Sebrof and Theo on this one. The only relevant retail price is the current one. Everyone here assumes that retail prices only increase over time. I have seen retail prices of imported gear decline (sometimes significantly) when a change in distribution occurs. I don't think it would be appropriate to list the old retail price given that the current price is lower.
If that were to happen I would simply by it new, or the seller takes a bigger hit if he wants to sell under those conditions (a lower current prioe for an item previously purchased - the risk you take as a buyer I suppose, though it does not happen often), at least there is transparency. I still think that the person that bought a $2000 amp for $1000 3 years ago, and now asks for $2,500 because the list $4,000 is doing something not quite right if not disclosed up front. I can than decide if I want to buy at the asking price; there is just something about a windfall that rubs me the wrong way, but clearly we don't all feel the same way....but this debate might be more intractable than tubes versus SS:)
So selling a house or piece of real estate for profit is something you also find objectionable?

If not how is that different than an amplifier, bottle of wine, rare coin/stamp, classic car, etc?

Put your emotion aside and understand the selling price is all that matters if you've done some homework and research. It's the buyer's responsibility to ascertain what he/she is buying.

Just sayin.........
As as seller I would feel an obligation to not be deceptive, and that listing the current MSRP wich is several thousand more than it was when I paid for it used on Audiogon 3 years ago is deceptive in intent, it is purposefully concealing a material fact, namely the "New" price for the particular item up for sale at the time it was made and sold. I am perfectly alright with a seller trying to eek out more in the sale by saying that now it would cost you X to buy it new today - that is honest dealing IME.

As a buyer I always do my homework, which is why I spot this trend of what I preceive to be unearned, unwarranted windfall profits and I simply don't do business with folks that are not upfront. I might actually choose to buy the piece if they were honest about it.

I'm just saying....

The original MSRP is irrelevant.

Ever see an ad for a house that includes the build price? Is that seller being dishonest or deceptive?

I'm out.
"As as seller I would feel an obligation to not be deceptive, and that listing the current MSRP wich is several thousand more than it was when I paid for it used on Audiogon 3 years ago is deceptive in intent..........."

Intent to do what, try to sell it for the current market value? Isn't that all that matters, the current market value? Like Audiofeil says, put your emotions aside, feelings have no place in a business transaction.

You're really beaten this thing to death, it's sooooooo irrelevant.
Doesn't the manufacturer set the suggested retail price to help protect the brand, and offer some assurance to the dealer that the investments made by them are somewhat safe?

For instance a Wilson dealer pays 40 to 50% of MSRP. Wilson expects the dealer to maintain a certain territory and not discount the speaker more than say 10% of MSRP.

This keeps the brand strong and the dealers investment worthwhile and all parties are drinking wine and kissing.

If a dealer goes rogue and starts ignoring territory and selling speakers at 40 to 50% off MSRP (Still making many thousands) this puts all the other dealers and Wilson at risk. The rogue dealer becomes dealer of the year until his speakers start showing up all over fleabay and Agon at cheap prices.

In my mind this is more of why a MSRP price exists. I agree with the above though, that it can help determine the age of a product.
Audio equipment depreciates (unless it becomes a vintage collectible), real
estate appreciates - the analogy you make doesn't work for me. Let's just agree
to disagree on this one.
>>Audio equipment depreciates (unless it becomes a vintage collectible), real estate appreciates<

One last thought:

Really?? I'm in Scottsdale at the moment. Tell the residents here, some of whom have lost 50% of their equity. Ditto Las Vegas and many cities in Florida, etc. You simply refuse to accept the facts.

MSRP is meaningless in a resale negotiation.

Thank you
" real estate appreciates "

Were have you been lately?
It is not the current MSRP that matters to me, it is my sense of what was paid for the used item being sold and whether someone is trying to get a windfall profit by suggesting what seller paid for it is somehow connected to the MSRP being listed in the Audiogon ad when it is no such thing (which I think is, many times, being done purposefully and knowingly deceptive). That is what seems dishonest to me. But, I'll buy from people who I deem to be honest and avoid those that do not seem to be. There is "business" and there is fairness, they don't have to be at odds. I've bored myself. Nevermind.

P.S. No question that real estate, as a rule, appreciates over time, the current crisis nothwithstanding - an anomoly does not disprove the rule. Buy that land in AZ and FLA today, and wait (smart money is already doing it).
I really don't care whether the seller lists an MSRP that was the actual cost of the actual item being sold, or the highest MSRP that an IDENTICAL item being sold ever had, even if that item was regularly discounted. On some level using the MSRP rather than the actual costs can avoid confusion for a purchaser when choosing the same item between different sellers. The practice of listing an MSRP that might have only been asked for one day of a given year, as a comparison to the discounted price being currently offered, is a standard retail practice. Are we asking Audiogoners to have a (much?) higher standard? Often times the seller wasn't the original buyer, and there's a good chance the current seller doesn't really know what the actual original cost was to the original buyer. Putting a some what accurate reference point is better than putting nothing. Let the buyer beware.
I do get peeved when a seller lists an untrue MSRP. I suspect that often times a seller uses the MSRP of a latter model for a previous one, e.g. listing the Mark IV price when selling the Mark III item. That's lazy and dishonest.
Unsound, don't think anyone can disagree with you regarding untrue MSRP - not even Bill:)

I guess I'll settle on a serial# and take it from there. Other than that, I just say "Uncle".
I guess you think 12" of snow is proof there is no global warming? An
anomalous variance from the trend does not in itself (other factors might - like
permanently loosing one's industrial base) change the endurance of the trend
over time. I'm telling you, buy land in Arizona and Florida, your grandchildren
will thank you - it worked for Bob Hope.

Do we really need to compare the enduring value of land with the slow rot and
decay of capacitors, resistors, power supplies and switches.

Any way, Jameson's on the rock and Bill Evans starting to play, aah!
This thread separates the honest from the dishonest sellers. Why inflate retail price to get a better sales price? People will remember the names on this blog, and may deceide not to buy from those who lie through omission of the truth. Sometimes it's better to look elseware.
Polk, I think there is a difference in philosophies articulated here but labeling somebody dishonest might be a stretch. What do you think?
Strech? No. I also "labeled" people honest. I'm just sayin".
It is hard to speak to motive, or what lies in a person's heart, but for some the act would seem dishonest so they would not do it or at least be open and transparent about it, for others they see no such conflict or duty to disclose, and one must conclude that coming from that perspective they are not being dishonest, they just see the situation differently. Then of course there are those who know or think it is wrong, but do so anyway because it is to their advantage and I think we can say that they are dishonest as to motive and intent.
My feeling is that just as the price a seller will obtain for an item can be adversely affected by the introduction of an upgraded version, or by other circumstances beyond his or her control, he or she is entitled to realize some benefit from price escalation that may have occurred for the model that is being sold. Perhaps even a windfall, if the current price of the same model is far larger than it had been. I don't see anything wrong with that.

A statement of the original purchase price could provide potential buyers with added confidence in the seller's character, but I don't see failure to state that price as being unethical, or as signifying anything negative about the seller's character.


Best regards,
-- Al
I'm with Bill and Al here; given that people have chimed in on both sides here, we seem to have something of a "philosophical difference," not a clear cut case of dishonesty or misrepresentation.

I don't agree with Bill that MSRP is irrelevant (assuming it reflects to some degree the going rate for a new piece): I think it gives some guidance as to what a reasonable asking price would be. To take an extreme case, surely it's not irrelevant in evaluating an asking price of 2000 that the current MSRP is 1000.

In the end, of course, it's up to the negotiating parties to decide what they can live with, MSRP notwithstanding.
As I said earlier, often times the seller is not the original purchaser. The second hand price will vary over time or circumstances. The newest reseller might only be left with limited resources regarding discovery of the original MSRP of that particular unit. Due to the way things are marketed, most items only have a few years in which they are marketed new, and the MSRP usually doesn't vary all that much during that run. Expecting the newest reseller to list the price he paid for a used item as the "Original Purchase Price is not what is intended by "Original Price" (as I understand it), means little, and one might argue; really isn't really anyone one else's business. The condition of such a used item would be amongst those things that would mean more to me than whether the listed MSRP was off by a year or two. I wouldn't let an honest mistake, when making an honest effort to provide a potential buyer with as much information as possible, as grounds for labeling a seller dishonest. I'd suggest that those that would, not even walk on the same side of the street as a glass house. With that in mind, they might want to stay out of Manhattan.:-)
"Expecting the newest reseller to list the price he paid for a used item as the "Original Purchase Price is not what is intended by "Original Price" (as I understand it), means little, and one might argue; really isn't really anyone one else's business."


Honest mistakes are not at all dishonest. Dishonest mistakes are not mistakes at all. I guess the issue is should one disclose MSRP (not purchase price)for the specific item on sale at the time of manufacture. Some say yes, some say no. Some say it is irrelevant, some think not. Would be interesting to discuss the basis for seeing things in such a different way - a good use for a good beer.

As to the philosophical take on this, well I suppose that can go on forever.